12 Helpful Tips to Pass the CELTA or TEFL Teaching Preparation Course

As a Trinity College of London post-graduate diploma holder in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) when a co-worker seriously queried me on the rigors and requirements of taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course for teaching English, I recommended an upcoming CELTA (Certification in English Language Teaching) teacher training certification program at the British Council. After several conversations with him I thought,

“Why not give the prospective CELTA trainee some advice right from a proven source?”

Having such teaching certification opens doors internationally for English teaching positions, enabling certificate holders to work in scores if not hundreds of countries worldwide. But the more reputable and highly-regarded 120+ hour programs are intensive, stressful and difficult regardless of the experience and amount of preparation trainees may have.

So, I contacted Nathan Jones, a CELTA graduate I knew and asked, “Look, can you do something for me? I’m tutoring someone to enter the CELTA training course like the one you did. Would you please give him some insight as to course requirements, the schedule, themes, difficulties, etc.? You’ll be able to provide this prospective CELTA trainee with some idea of what he’s in for this summer if he takes the CELTA.”

Sure enough, Nathan, the CELTA grad, offered some insights as to what might be in store for a CELTA trainee during the five-week intensive regimen. With my insight also included, here’s what our advice consisted of:

We offer you these tips for preparing to take the CELTA or other TESOL certification program. Try to remember these valuable key points:

1. Read everything you are given thoroughly.

This includes handouts, course outlines and requirements, etc.

2. Use your peers to assist you in every aspect of your

training. Get to know your directors, teachers,

administrators, and other personnel on the course

program

3. Complete every course program project on time – or early, if

possible.

4. Be open to being challenged and mentally exasperated, take

copious notes, and share them freely with other trainees.

5. Find another trainee or a small study group you can gel and

work well with.

6. Seek out the person(s) who have had friends or family

previously in the course, because they will likely have a

head start in completing course program tasks.

7. Get lots of sleep. You’ll need it. Don’t fall asleep in

class or get “burned out from stress and exhaustion. Take

some “relax” time daily.

8. Practice your teaching techniques regularly, whether

assigned or not.

9. Try to learn from the students you will be teaching.

10. Follow the required texts, books and materials explicitly –

ask questions if you doubt or don’t fully understand

anything. Make sure you understand the processes of what

you will be learning. This is crucial to your success.

11. Do everything in organized steps or stages and be

consistently persistent.

12. A few final Key Points:

o Ask questions – even the “stupid” ones

o pay rapt attention – everything is important

o follow directions explicitly

o listen carefully at all times

o study regularly, plan your time well – resist the urge

to “goof off”

o prepare well daily for each class or input session

o practice what you learn – that’s what your partner / study

group is for

o get help wherever and whenever you can – don’t allow yourself

to fall behind

Be sure to enjoy the experience and have fun. These people will be your friends for life. Remember that a course alone, while preparing you to enter an EFL / ESL (English as a Foreign Language / English as a Second Language) teaching career, does not in itself make you a teacher. Continue to grow, develop and learn throughout your TEFL teaching career.

Good Luck

How to Learn German – Helpful Advice

• The first task we must assign ourselves id to learn the proper pronunciation of the alphabet, including the letters that are peculiar to German such as “ä”, “ö”, “ü” and “ß”(es-tzet). The best way to do this is to listen to a professor or watch a video where such letters and their respective sounds are dealt with in detail.

• We must be able to organize our time. It is advisable to set a schedule or time-table and devote daily at least some minutes to this learning process. The choice of an adequate place or “spot” is also advisable.

• With the help of audiovisual material we will be acquiring and enlarging our vocabulary. It is very important to listen and to see simultaneously the corresponding images in order to associate them with their German meaning. If at the same time we see the images, we learn the words that correspond to them, thus making this learning process more effective.

• Grammar also requires concentration and study. We must learn the declinations of the articles that affect the adjectives and nouns.

• In German, the first letter in a noun is written with a capital letter.

• It is a good idea to register in the library of some German school or Institute. There we can have a better and more intimate contact with this country’s culture and also get to know people who are also learning this language.

• It would be great if we have the opportunity to do a course in Germany itself. There is no better way to learn a language than in the country where it is spoken.

• Finally, reading is also an excellent way to learn a language. Of course, in order to read it, one must have at least the basic principles. In order to obtain the utmost benefit we should search out the best in literature, well-known authors, thus we shall form a solid knowledge basis.